Fulton targets another cup shock

14th March 2019
First team

It may be an oft-repeated cliche, but there can be no denying the FA Cup still retains its old magic on the evidence of some of the giant-killing exploits this season.

“Anything can happen” is a motto that continues to be a truism in the famous knock-out competition thanks to little David pulling off an unexpected result against mighty Goliath.

This season, for David read Newport County, for Goliath read former Premier League champions Leicester City.

You can add AFC Wimbledon and Barnet to the former list for their exploits against West Ham and Sheffield United.

Swansea City will hope their name will have been added to that roll call come Saturday night.

To do so they will have to upset a team which is not just beating their opposition, but blowing them away at a force stronger than Storm Gareth.

Manchester City have the Midas touch in front of goal. They have scored nine past Burton in a ruthless EFL Cup semi-final first leg, and struck seven in their midweek Champions League win over Schalke.

Those two opponents are not short on company. Pep Guardiola’s side have also put seven past Rotherham while Huddersfield, Chelsea, Southampton, Shakhtar Donetsk conceded six in their encounters.

Cardiff City and Burnley have suffered 5-0 defeats in what is an indication of the Premier League champions’ quality in front of goal.

Guardiola’s side have their pedal to the metal in the quest for the quadruple. The EFL Cup is already in the bag, with City top of the Premier League and in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Next up, the FA Cup.

It would be easy for those outside of Swansea to assume this will be another occasion where Guardiola’s goal-mad side will take another step closer to another title. 

Swansea will rightly start as the firm underdogs come Saturday tea-time, indeed some bookmakers have Graham Potter's men as long as 18-1 to win in what is a two-horse race.

But, as that old motto goes, anything can happen. Just ask Jay Fulton.

The last time the blue side of Manchester suffered defeat in a domestic cup competition was February 19, 2018.

The opposition? Wigan Athletic, then in League One.

Fulton made only the second appearance of his loan spell at Wigan that day, with the Scot coming on as a 27th minute substitute on a famous day for the former FA Cup winners as they shocked City in a 1-0 triumph thanks to Will Grigg's goal.

“We went into the game taking it as a free hit to see what we could do,” said Fulton.

“The last 10 minutes seemed like the longest in the world but we held on and kept a clean sheet to cause a major shock.”

With the manner in which Guardiola’s side have brushed aside some of Europe’s elite this season, the bookmakers will be expecting an away win.

But given Fulton’s experience in the competition, the midfielder is well aware of the magic of the cup.

“Manchester City are a great side – look at the amount of goals they have scored this season,” he added.

“But we’ve seen from results this season in the FA Cup that shocks do happen, while I can obviously call on my own experience from last season.

“I’m sure our fans will be up for it and the players definitely will be.

“It’s a good game for us to test ourselves against the best and show what we can do.

“You want to play in these big games.

“We’re one game away from Wembley. It’s going to be a tough match against probably the best team in Europe right now, but we’ll see what it holds for us. Anything can happen.”